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AB-1269 Mobilehome Residents and Senior Protection Act.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/18/2017 04:00 AM
AB1269:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Assembly  April 17, 2017
Amended  IN  Assembly  March 30, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 1269


Introduced by Assembly Member Mark Stone

February 17, 2017


An act to add Article 8.5 (commencing with Section 798.90) to Chapter 2.5 of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code, amend Sections 12980 and 12981 of, and to add Article 3 (commencing with Section 12989.50) to Chapter 7 of Part 2.8 of Division 3 of Title 2 of, the Government Code, relating to mobilehomes. mobilehomes, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 1269, as amended, Mark Stone. Mobilehome Residency Law. Residents and Senior Protection Act.
The California Fair Employment and Housing Act establishes the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, under the direction of an executive officer to, among other things, receive, investigate, conciliate, mediate, and prosecute complaints alleging practices made unlawful under the act. The act establishes procedures for the prevention and elimination of discrimination in housing made unlawful under its provisions, including authorizing any person claiming to be aggrieved by an alleged violation of specified provisions to file a verified complaint in writing with the department. The act requires the department to investigate an alleged violation and, in the case of failure to eliminate a violation that has occurred, or is about to occur, through conference, conciliation, mediation, or persuasion, requires the director to file a civil action in the name of the department on behalf of that person.

Existing law, the

The Mobilehome Residency Law, Law governs the terms and conditions of residency in mobilehome parks and parks. That law, among other things, requires the rental agreement between the management of a mobilehome park and the homeowner to be in writing and to contain specified terms and provisions. Existing law requires the management of a mobilehome park to return an executed copy of the rental agreement to the homeowner within 15 business days after the management has received the rental agreement signed by the homeowner. provisions, requires the management to meet and consult with homeowners, either individually, collectively, or with representatives of a group of homeowners, on specified matters within 30 days of a written request to do so, and prohibits management from terminating or refusing to renew tenancy within a park, except for specified reasons and upon giving written notice to the homeowner.

The Mobilehome Parks Act requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to enact and enforce rules and regulations to protect public health and safety in mobilehome parks. The act requires the department to enter and inspect the parks, as specified, to issue permits, and to send notices regarding violations of the act or the regulations, as specified. Any person who willfully violates the act, building standards related thereto, or rules or regulations adopted by the department pursuant to the act is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding $400 or imprisonment not exceeding 30 days, or both.

This bill would require the Department of Fair Employment and Housing to, among other things, perform dispute resolution activities, including investigations, negotiations, informal hearings determinations of violations of the Mobilehome Residency Law, and imposition of fines or other specified penalties. The bill would authorize an aggrieved resident of a mobilehome park to file a complaint with the department alleging a violation of the Mobilehome Residency Law and would establish procedures for handling this complaint. The bill would authorize this department to adopt any regulations to administer these complaint provisions.

This bill would extend the application of the above-described enforcement procedures for the prevention and elimination of discrimination in housing under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act to apply to the prevention and elimination of actions made unlawful under the Mobilehome Residency Law against homeowners or residents of mobilehomes, as provided. The bill would also authorize the department to investigate potential violations of the Mobilehome Residency Law that are discovered during the course of an existing formal investigation, but for which the department has not received a formal complaint.
The bill would require the Department of Housing and Community Development department to annually assess upon the management of a mobilehome park subject to the Mobilehome Residency Law a registration fee of $5 for each mobilehome located within the mobilehome park for the purpose of providing the complaint resolution process described in this bill. The bill would authorize management to pass this fee on to the owner of each mobilehome.
The bill would require all fees and fines collected pursuant to this bill to be deposited in the Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Fund, which would be established this bill would establish in the State Treasury, and made available, upon appropriation, to the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing Treasury. The bill would continuously appropriate the moneys in the fund to the department for costs of administering this bill.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NOYES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 (a) This act shall be known, and may be cited, as the Mobilehome Residents and Senior Protection Act.
(b) It is the intent of the Legislature in enacting this act to protect and safeguard the most vulnerable mobilehome homeowners and residents by affording them the enforcement and hearing procedures for housing discrimination, available under Article 2 (commencing with Section 12980) of Chapter 7 of Part 2.8 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, for the enforcement of the Mobilehome Residency Law (Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 798) of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code).

SEC. 2.

 Section 12980 of the Government Code is amended to read:

12980.
 This article governs the procedure for the prevention and elimination of discrimination in housing made unlawful pursuant to Article 2 (commencing with Section 12955) of Chapter 6. 6 of this part, and for the prevention and elimination of actions made unlawful under the Mobilehome Residency Law (Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 798) of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code) against homeowners and residents, as defined in Sections 798.9 and 798.11 of the Civil Code, respectively, of mobilehomes.
(a) Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an alleged violation of Section 12955, 12955.1, or 12955.7 12955.7, or a homeowner or resident, as defined in Sections 798.9 and 798.11 of the Civil Code, respectively, claiming to be aggrieved by an alleged violation of the Mobilehome Residency Law (Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 798) of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code), may file with the department a verified complaint in writing that shall state the name and address of the person alleged to have committed the violation complained of, and that shall set forth the particulars of the alleged violation and contain any other information required by the department.
The filing of a complaint and pursuit of conciliation or remedy under this part shall not prejudice the complainant’s right to pursue effective judicial relief under other applicable laws, but if a civil action has been filed under Section 52 of the Civil Code, the department shall terminate proceedings upon notification of the entry of final judgment unless the judgment is a dismissal entered at the complainant’s request.
(b) The Attorney General or the director may, in a like manner, make, sign, and file complaints citing practices that appear to violate the purpose of this part or any specific provisions of this part relating to housing discrimination. discrimination, or violations of the Mobilehome Residency Law (Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 798) of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code) that are subject to enforcement actions under this article.
No complaint may be filed after the expiration of one year from the date upon which the alleged violation occurred or terminated.
(c) The department may thereupon proceed upon the complaint in the same manner and with the same powers as provided in this part in the case of an unlawful practice, except that where the provisions of this article provide greater rights and remedies to an aggrieved person person, or mobilehome homeowner or resident, than the provisions of Article 1 (commencing with Section 12960), the provisions of this article shall prevail.
(d) Upon the filing of a complaint, the department shall serve notice upon the complainant of the time limits, rights of the parties, and choice of forums provided for under the law.
(e) The department shall commence proceedings with respect to a complaint within 30 days of filing of the complaint.
(f) An investigation of allegations contained in any complaint filed with the department shall be completed within 100 days after receipt of the complaint, unless it is impracticable to do so. If the investigation is not completed within 100 days, the complainant and respondent shall be notified, in writing, of the department’s reasons for not doing so.
(g) Upon the conclusion of each investigation, the department shall prepare a final investigative report containing all of the following:
(1) The names of any witnesses and the dates of any contacts with those witnesses.
(2) A summary of the dates of any correspondence or other contacts with the aggrieved persons persons, or mobilehome homeowners or residents, or the respondent.
(3) A summary of witness statements.
(4) Answers to interrogatories.
(5) A summary description of other pertinent records.
A final investigative report may be amended if additional evidence is later discovered.
(h) If a civil action is not brought by the department within 100 days after the filing of a complaint, or if the department earlier determines that no civil action will be brought, the department shall promptly notify the person person, or mobilehome homeowner or resident, claiming to be aggrieved. This notice shall, in any event, be issued no more than 30 days after the date of the determination or 30 days after the date of the expiration of the 100-day period, whichever date first occurs. The notice shall indicate that the person person, or mobilehome homeowner or resident, claiming to be aggrieved may bring a civil action under this part against the person named in the verified complaint within the time period specified in Section 12989.1. The notice shall also indicate, unless the department has determined that no civil action will be brought, that the person person, or mobilehome homeowner or resident, claiming to be aggrieved has the option of continuing to seek redress for the alleged discrimination through the procedures of the department if he or she does not desire to file a civil action. The superior courts of the State of California shall have jurisdiction of these actions, and the aggrieved person person, or mobilehome homeowner or resident, may file in these courts. The action may be brought in any county in the state in which the violation is alleged to have been committed, or in the county in which the records relevant to the alleged violation are maintained and administered, but if the defendant is not found within that county, the action may be brought within the county of the defendant’s residence or principal office. A copy of any complaint filed pursuant to this part shall be served on the principal offices of the department. The remedy for failure to send a copy of a complaint is an order to do so. In a civil action brought under this section, the court, in its discretion, may award to the prevailing party reasonable attorney’s fees.
(i) All agreements reached in settlement of any housing discrimination or mobilehome residency complaint filed pursuant to this section shall be made public, unless otherwise agreed by the complainant and respondent, and the department determines that the disclosure is not required to further the purposes of the act.
(j) All agreements reached in settlement of any housing discrimination or mobilehome residency complaint filed pursuant to this section shall be agreements between the respondent and complainant, and shall be subject to approval by the department.

SEC. 3.

 Section 12981 of the Government Code is amended to read:

12981.
 (a) In the case of failure to eliminate a violation of Section 12955, 12955.1, or 12955.7 12955.7, or a violation of the Mobilehome Residency Law (Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 798) of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code) that is subject to this article, that has occurred, or is about to occur, through conference, conciliation, mediation, or persuasion, or in advance thereof if circumstances warrant, the director shall bring a civil action in the name of the department on behalf of the aggrieved person person, or mobilehome homeowner or resident, as a real party in interest, notwithstanding Section 12971, in the same manner and with the same powers as provided in Section 12965, except that where the provisions of this article provide greater rights and remedies to an aggrieved person person, or mobilehome homeowner or resident, than Section 12965, the provisions of this article shall prevail. Prior to filing a civil action, the department shall require all parties to participate in the department’s mandatory dispute resolution division free of charge to the parties in an effort to resolve the dispute without litigation. A civil action alleging an unfair housing practice or violation of the Mobilehome Residency Law (Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 798) of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code) shall be issued within 100 days after the filing of a complaint unless it is impracticable to do so. The civil action shall be filed in any county in the state in which the unlawful practice is alleged to have been committed, in the county in which the records relevant to that practice are maintained and administered, or in the county in which the aggrieved person person, or mobilehome homeowner or resident, would have resided in the housing accommodation. If the defendant is not found within that county, the action may be filed in the county of the defendant’s residence or principal office. Any aggrieved person person, or mobilehome homeowner or resident, may intervene as a matter of right in the proceeding, and the appeal or other judicial review of that proceeding.
(b) If the department determines that an allegation concerns the legality of any zoning or other land use law or ordinance, the department or the Attorney General shall take appropriate action with respect to the complaint according to the procedures established in this part for other complaints of housing discrimination.
(c) Within one year of the effective date of every final order or decision issued pursuant to this part, the department shall conduct a compliance review to determine whether the order or decision has been fully obeyed and implemented.
(d) Whenever the department has reasonable cause to believe that a respondent has breached a conciliation agreement signed by the department, the department shall initiate a civil action to enforce the agreement.

SEC. 4.

 Article 3 (commencing with Section 12989.50) is added to Chapter 7 of Part 2.8 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:
Article  3. Mobilehome Residents and Senior Protection

12989.50.
 As used in this article, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) “Management” has the same meaning as specified in Section 798.2 of the Civil Code.
(b) “Mobilehome” has the same meaning as specified in Section 798.3 of the Civil Code.
(c) “Mobilehome park” has the same meaning as specified in Section 798.4 of the Civil Code.
(d) “Homeowner” has the same meaning as specified in Section 798.9 of the Civil Code.
(e) “Resident” has the same meaning as specified in Section 798.11 of the Civil Code.

12989.52.
 The department shall produce written materials for homeowners and residents summarizing the purpose of the Mobilehome Residents and Senior Protection Act (Assembly Bill 1269 of the 2017–18 Regular Session) and including information on how to file a complaint with the department and a toll-free telephone number and Internet Web site address that a resident can use to seek additional information and communicate complaints.

12989.54.
 The department shall collect and make available on a publicly searchable Internet database, at a minimum, the following information:
(a) The number of violations of the Mobilehome Residency Law (Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 798) of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code) filed with the department.
(b) The alleged violation.
(c) The outcome for each complaint.

12989.56.
 The department may in its sole discretion investigate potential violations of the Mobilehome Residency Law (Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 798) of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code) that are discovered during the course of an existing formal investigation, but for which the department has not received a formal complaint.

12989.58.
 The department may promulgate any necessary procedural rules to administer complaints alleging violations of the Mobilehome Residency Law (Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 798) of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code).

12989.60.
 (a) There is hereby established in the State Treasury the Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Fund. All moneys received by the department as a result of administering and enforcing the Mobilehome Residents and Senior Protection Act (Assembly Bill 1269 of the 2017–18 Regular Session), other than those due to a homeowner or resident, shall be deposited in the Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Fund and, notwithstanding Section 13340 of the Government Code, continuously appropriated to the department for the purpose of administering the Mobilehome Residents and Senior Protection Act (Assembly Bill 1269 of the 2017–18 Regular Session).
(b) (1) The department shall annually assess upon management a registration fee of five dollars ($5) for each mobilehome that is subject to the Mobilehome Residency Law (Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 798) of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code) within a mobilehome park for the purpose of enforcement of the Mobilehome Residency Law (Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 798) of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code), as provided pursuant to the Mobilehome Residents and Senior Protection Act (Assembly Bill 1269 of the 2017–18 Regular Session).
(2) Management may pass on all or a portion of the amount of the registration fee assessed under this subdivision to the homeowners and residents within the mobilehome park, except that management shall not pass on the fee in the form of an increase in rent. Management shall provide a written description of the purpose of the charge to homeowners and residents.
(c) The department may file a civil action to enforce payment of the registration fee assessed pursuant to subdivision (b) in the superior court for the county in which the relevant mobilehome park is located. If the department prevails in an action filed pursuant to this subdivision, the court shall award costs, including reasonable attorney’s fees, for the enforcement proceeding, to the department. Notwithstanding Section 12907, costs and attorney’s fees awarded pursuant to this section shall be deposited in the Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Fund.

SECTION 1.

It is the intent of the Legislature to provide homeowners and residents with a cost-effective, time-efficient process to resolve disputes regarding alleged violations of the Mobilehome Residency Law.

SEC. 2.Article 8.5 (commencing with Section 798.90) is added to Chapter 2.5 of Title 2 of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Civil Code, to read:
8.5.Mobilehome Owner and Resident Protection
798.90.

This article shall be known, and may be cited, as the “Mobilehome Residents and Senior Protection Act of 2017.”

798.91.

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing shall do all of the following:

(a)Produce written materials regarding this article, including a notice in a format which management can reasonably post in a mobilehome community that summarizes resident rights and responsibilities, including information on how to file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, and a toll-free telephone number and Internet Web site address that a resident can use to seek additional information and communicate complaints pursuant to the article.

(b)Perform dispute resolution activities, including investigations, negotiations, informal hearings determinations of violations, and imposition of fines or other penalties pursuant to Section 798.92.

(c)Collect and make available on a publicly searchable Internet database, at a minimum, the following information:

(1)The number of violations of this chapter that were substantiated.

(2)The nature and extent of the complaints received.

(3)The alleged violation of this chapter.

(4)The dispute outcomes for each complaint.

798.92.

(a)An aggrieved resident may file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing alleging a violation of this chapter.

(b)Upon receiving a complaint, the department shall do all of the following:

(1)Inform the complainant of any notification requirements under the chapter for resident or management violations and encourage the complainant to appropriately notify the respondent of the complaint.

(2)If a statutory time period is applicable, inform the complainant of the time frame that the respondent has to remedy the complaint under this chapter for resident or management violations, as applicable.

(3)Investigate the alleged violations at its discretion and, if appropriate, facilitate negotiations between the complainant and the respondent.

(c)Complainants and respondents shall cooperate with the department in the course of an investigation. Failure to do so shall be deemed a violation of this article.

(d)If after an investigation the department determines that an agreement cannot be negotiated between the parties, the department shall make a written determination as to whether a violation of this chapter has occurred.

(e)If the department finds by a written determination that a violation of this chapter has occurred, the department shall deliver a written notice of violation to the respondent person or entity who committed the violation by certified mail. The notice of violation shall specify the violation, the corrective action required, the time within which the corrective action shall be taken, the penalties, including fines, and any actions that will result if corrective action is not taken within the specified time period, along with the process for contesting any determination, findings or penalties contained in notice of violation pursuant to an administrative hearing. The department shall also deliver to the complainant a copy of the notice of violation by certified mail.

(f)If the department finds by a written determination that a violation of this chapter has not occurred, the department shall deliver a written notice of nonviolation to both the complainant and the respondent by certified mail. The notice of nonviolation shall include the process for contesting the determination by way of an administrative hearing.

(g)Corrective action shall take place within 30 business days of the respondent’s receipt of a notice of violation, except as required otherwise by the department, unless the respondent has submitted a timely request for an administrative hearing. If a respondent fails to take corrective action within the required time period and the department has not received a timely request for an administrative hearing, the department may impose a fine of not more than two hundred fifty dollars ($250) per violation, per day, for each day that a violation remains uncorrected. If the respondent shows good faith effort has been made to comply with the corrective action requirements of the notice of violation and that the corrective action has not been completed because of mitigating factors beyond the respondent’s control, the department may delay the imposition of any fine or other penalty.

(h)The department may issue an order requiring the respondent, or respondent’s assignee or agent, to cease and desist an unlawful practice, or to take affirmative action, or both, that, in the judgment of the department, will carry out the purposes of this article.

(i)The department may, so as to ensure compliance from parties who have agreed to a settlement, require that the terms of the settlement be memorialized in a written agreement, a signed copy of which shall be furnished to the department, and may further require that the parties agree therein to enforcement by the department if one or both parties fail to comply with the terms of the settlement agreement.

(j)If the department imposes a fine, refund, or other penalty against a respondent, the respondent shall not seek or receive any recovery or reimbursement of the fine, refund, or other penalty from a complainant or from any other homeowner or resident, whether in the form of a rent increase or any other mobilehome home park charge.

(k)All receipts from the imposition of fines or other penalties collected under this section other than those due to a complainant shall be deposited into the Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Fund.

(l)This section does not limit the right of residents or management to take legal action against another party. Exhaustion of the administrative remedy provided in this article is required before taking legal action regarding any violations of this article. This section shall not apply to unlawful detainer actions initiated prior to the filing and service of an unlawful detainer court action. However, a tenant shall not be precluded from seeking separate relief under this article if the complaint claims the notice of termination violates this chapter prior to the filing and service of an unlawful detainer action.

798.93.

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing may adopt any regulations to administer this article.

798.94.

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing, its director, or individuals acting on behalf of the department or director shall be immune from any and all liability or suit, civil or criminal, based upon any disciplinary actions or other official acts performed in the course of their duties under this chapter, except in the case of intentional or willful misconduct.

798.95.

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing may in its sole discretion investigate potential violations of this chapter that are discovered during the course of an existing formal investigation, but for which the department has not received a formal complaint.

798.96.

(a)The Department of Housing and Community Development shall annually assess upon the management of a mobilehome park subject to this chapter a registration fee of five dollars ($5) for each mobilehome located within the mobilehome park for the purpose of providing the complaint resolution process described in this article. The management may pass this fee on to the owner of each mobilehome.

(b)All fees and fines collected pursuant to this article shall be deposited in the Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Fund, which is hereby established in the State Treasury. Funds within the Mobilehome Residency Law Protection Fund shall be made available, upon appropriation by the Legislature, to the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing for costs of administering this article.